voting en Detroit clerk, Michigan Democrats debut online absentee ballot application <p>Detroit voters will now be able to access, sign and submit absentee ballot applications on their smartphones.</p><p>Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey and Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson <a href="">announced the new initiative Wednesday.</a></p><p>Winfrey said it’s simply a matter of meeting voters where they tend to be these days—online.</p><p>“So why not? Why not be able to use their smartphone to request an absentee ballot?” Winfrey asked.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:22:13 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18412 at Detroit clerk, Michigan Democrats debut online absentee ballot application The era of Freedom Summer and Medgar Evers may seem like long ago, but we shouldn't forget them <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Whatever you think about the way society is evolving, there continues to be progress when it comes to human and civil rights and freedoms. Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder signed two bills protecting the rights of breast-feeding mothers to nurse in public. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">True, this always should have been a universal human right, but progress doesn’t always come as quickly as it should -- nor for the right reasons. The governor, never eager to go out on a limb on social issues, said the bill would help prevent obesity.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Meanwhile, it seems increasingly likely that same-sex marriage will also be fully legal before very long.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">These have been hard-fought battles, as all struggles for civil rights always have been. But to the best of my knowledge, nobody has been threatening to kill anyone for breast-feeding.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Yet I got a call last night from an old civil rights attorney who reminded me that we lived in a very different world half a century ago.</span></p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:43:45 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18141 at The era of Freedom Summer and Medgar Evers may seem like long ago, but we shouldn't forget them Voters deserve the best choices possible for Congress <p>Two years ago, voters in a suburban Detroit congressional district were stunned to learn that their congressman, Thaddeus McCotter, had failed to qualify for the primary election ballot.</p><p>Anyone running for Congress needs to submit 1,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.</p><p>It turned out his staff had illegally and clumsily photocopied old petition signatures, instead of collecting new ones. McCotter not only retired, but abruptly quit before his term ended.</p><p>That left just one name on the GOP primary ballot: Kerry Bentivolio, known informally as “Krazy Kerry,” a reindeer farmer, Santa Claus impersonator, and failed high school teacher.</p><p>Bentivolio is now a congressman, and establishment Republicans are spending millions to try and dislodge him in this August’s primary.</p><p>Now it seems something similar has happened to John Conyers, a Democrat who has represented Detroit in Congress for half a century. Most of the signatures he submitted seem to have been collected by circulators who weren’t registered to vote.</p><p>One has a criminal record and is a wanted fugitive. It seems very likely that Conyers will not be on the ballot this year.</p><p>If so, it's possible&nbsp;that the only name on the Democratic primary ballot will be that of The Rev. Horace Sheffield, a longtime Detroit clergyman with a reputation of his own. Sheffield got his picture in the papers twice in February. Once when he announced for Congress, and once when he was booked on domestic violence charges. Fri, 09 May 2014 15:23:19 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17542 at Voters deserve the best choices possible for Congress How Michigan stacks up when it comes to elections <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Pew Charitable Trusts' latest Elections Performance Index looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia to measure how well they conducted their elections. Wait times at polling stations, problems with registration or absentee ballots, and voter turnout were just some of the things examined.</span></p><div><p></p><p>So how did Michigan do? We talked to&nbsp;Sean Greene, research manager for The Pew Charitable Trusts, to find out.</p><p></p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:59:18 +0000 Stateside Staff 17169 at How Michigan stacks up when it comes to elections How can our voting system be improved? <p>During his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama made passing mention of our voting system.</p><p>"Citizenship means standing up for everyone’s right to vote. Last year, part of the Voting Rights Act was weakened.&nbsp; But conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are working together to strengthen it, and the bipartisan commission I appointed last year has offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote.&nbsp; Let’s support these efforts.&nbsp; It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy."</p><p>So, the voting system is on the president's mind. So, too, is it on the mind of Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry. He joined us today to discuss the problems he has noticed with our voting system.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 22:07:32 +0000 Stateside Staff 16336 at How can our voting system be improved? Stateside for Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 <p>After years of debate, Congress has sent the almost $1 trillion farm bill to President Obama, and, as usual, opposition to the legislation was a left-right affair. On today's show: Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint joins us to talk about why he voted in favor.</p><p>Then, Michigan Radio’s political commentator Jack Lessenberry explained why fixing Michigan’s voting system may be harder than you think.</p><p>And, medical students are reaching out to provide health care to uninsured people. We spoke with one of these students about free student-run medical clinics.</p><p>And, a new mobile and Web app is providing food for hungry children in Grand Rapids.</p><p>Also, we spoke to an economist from the University of Michigan about the success of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.</p><p>And, the owner of Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, Michigan, joined us today to tell us about how she was approached to provide yarn for the Ralph Lauren Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters.&nbsp;</p><p>First on the show, i<span style="line-height: 1.5;">t's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.</span></p><p>He's been going through Gov. Snyder's proposed budget for the new fiscal year and has decided the governor's got something going for him: what President George Herbert Walker Bush called "The Big Mo."</p><p>Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the issue.</p><p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:56:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 16339 at Stateside for Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 Michigan Secretary of States calls for non-citizen voter investigation <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says she's asked the state Attorney General's office to investigate 10 people who aren't U.S. citizens but have voted in past Michigan elections.</p><p><a href="">MLive</a> reports&nbsp;the letter to Bill Schuette&nbsp;calls for an "investigation, and if appropriate, prosecution."</p><p>The Secretary of State's office says the people are from Kent, Macomb, Oakland, Roscommon and Wayne counties. Names of those involved haven't been released, but Johnson's office says they voted in presidential and gubernatorial elections in the past decade.</p><p>Schuette spokeswoman Joy Yearout says they received the letter from Johnson and the referrals are under review.</p><p>The 10 people area some of 600 people who earlier were verified as not being U.S. citizens by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.</p><p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 17:21:49 +0000 The Associated Press 15578 at Michigan Secretary of States calls for non-citizen voter investigation Voter turnout tops expectations in Detroit <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">With emergency manager </span>Kevyn<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Orr running Detroit, the city’s elected officials have very few real powers. So </span>Detroiters<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> could be forgiven for asking: Why bother to vote at all?</span></p><p>But for some Detroiters, there was no question about exercising the right to vote.</p><p>And turnout for this election was <a href="">higher than expected</a>, at upwards of 25%.</p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:47:50 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15153 at Voter turnout tops expectations in Detroit Deadline today to register to vote in November elections <p>Today&nbsp; is the deadline to register to vote for the November elections. Michigan residents can go to their local Secretary of State&#39;s office or a city clerk&#39;s office to register.<br /><br />Fred Woodhams is with the Michigan Secretary of State. He says there is still time for people to register to vote.</p> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:44:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14728 at Deadline today to register to vote in November elections US Supreme Court ruling not likely to change Michigan's citizenship 'affirmation' for voters <p>Michigan voters will probably still need to affirm their citizenship before they cast ballots. &nbsp;&nbsp;That's despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling today.</p><p></p><p>The nation’s highest court struck down an Arizona law that required individuals to prove their citizenship status when they registered to vote.</p><p></p><p>Michigan requires voters to ‘affirm’ their citizenship status, but not necessarily provide proof.</p><p></p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 20:47:28 +0000 Steve Carmody 13092 at US Supreme Court ruling not likely to change Michigan's citizenship 'affirmation' for voters In this morning's news: US secretary in Detroit, Palisades shut down, voters to the polls Tuesday <p><strong>US education secretary to visit Detroit schools</strong></p><p>"President Obama's education secretary will be in Detroit on Monday for a town hall meeting on education issues and visits to three area schools," the Associated Press <a href="">reports. </a></p><p><strong>Palisades nuclear power plant shut down after water leak</strong></p><p>"Operators of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern Michigan removed it from service Sunday because of a repeat water leak from a tank that caused seepage into the control room last year. The plant has been under extra Nuclear Regulatory Commission scrutiny after numerous safety issues. There were four shutdowns last year and at least two this year," the Associated Press <a href="">reports.</a></p><p><strong>Michigan voters head to the polls Tuesday</strong></p><p>Many Michigan communities will be<a href=""> voting in local elections</a> on Tuesday. Local elections including filling the vacant mayor's seat in Troy, choosing a new state senator in Genesee County, and in many parts of the state, residents can vote on school board issues.</p><p> Mon, 06 May 2013 11:41:01 +0000 Emily Fox 12419 at In this morning's news: US secretary in Detroit, Palisades shut down, voters to the polls Tuesday Do too many voters sit on the sidelines on Election Day? <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A couple of recent columns in Bridge Magazine caught our eye and we wanted to bring the writers together to share their thoughts with you.</span></p><p>The subject: exercising our right to vote.</p><p>From coast-to-coast, too many Americans sit on the sidelines when it comes to Election Day.<br><br>And, looking at the City of Detroit, with its state-appointed emergency manager running things, Detroiter Karen Dumas believes that Detroiters have paid a price for what she calls a "lack of diligence."</p><p>She spelled out her thoughts in a recent Bridge column.</p><p>And Bridge staff writer Nancy Derringer reports on a group in Detroit trying to "make voting cool," especially among the young people who are starting to move into the city.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:47:11 +0000 Stateside Staff 12347 at Do too many voters sit on the sidelines on Election Day? Busy day for Michigan's Secretary of State <p>It is perhaps the busiest day of the year for Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. Michigan polling locations will be open until 8 p.m. tonight.&nbsp; And, it will likely be some time before we have the final calls in many of the races.&nbsp; Michigan Radio's Jennifer White spoke with Ruth Johnson about the long lines at the polls, frustration over the voter verification check box, and when we should all expect to hear some results.</p><p> Tue, 06 Nov 2012 22:13:32 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 9797 at Busy day for Michigan's Secretary of State Ypsilanti Voters May Have Absentee Ballots But No Instructions <p>As many as 650 voters in Ypsilanti may have received absentee ballots in the mail without any instructions.</p><p>Francis McMullen, the Ypsilanti City Clerk, says only two voters have contacted her office so far, but she wants all voters to have what they need.&nbsp; So her team is mailing instructions to everyone who received an absentee ballot.</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 20:53:33 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9506 at Commentary: Citizenship and voting <p>Three days ago, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ruled that Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson had to stop asking voters to check a box reaffirming they are a U.S. citizen before casting a ballot at their polling place during next month’s election.</p><p>His ruling was about as surprising as snow in January, and I have to confess that I have a hard time understanding where the secretary of state is coming from. This was something the governor vetoed and her own legal staff told her to keep off absentee ballots.</p> Mon, 08 Oct 2012 11:25:20 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 9406 at Commentary: Citizenship and voting In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . . <p><strong>Romney campaign in Michigan this week</strong></p><p>"Mitt Romney's campaign is showing Michigan some love this week. Romney's running mate Paul Ryan holds a rally at Oakland University tonight. That follows Saturday's appearance by Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in suburban Detroit. And this Friday, Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, will stop in Grand Rapids," Tracy Samilton reports.</p><p><strong>Voter registration deadline is tomorrow</strong></p><p>The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is tomorrow. According to Michigan Secretary of State's <a href=",4670,7-127-1640_9150-287348--,00.html">website. </a></p><blockquote><p>"Voters may register by mail, at their county, city or township clerk's office, or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at <a href=",4670,7-127-1633---,00.html"></a>. First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at <a href=",1607,7-127-1633-49313--,00.html"></a>. On the website, residents can view a sample ballot, find their polling location, learn about absentee voting, get information on Michigan's voter ID laws and view contact information for their local clerk."</p><p></p></blockquote><p><strong>Twenty cases of meningitis in Michigan</strong></p><p>"At least 20 cases of meningitis have been confirmed in Michigan, including two deaths. The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled," the AP reports.</p><p> Mon, 08 Oct 2012 11:03:53 +0000 Emily Fox 9405 at In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . . Want to vote early in Michigan? What's your excuse? <p>The presidential election is still a month away, but in many states, early voting is already underway.</p><p>Today, Ohio opened the polls to early voters.</p><p>It’s one of 34 states that have some kind of early voting system.</p><p>Michigan, however, is not one of those states.</p><p>Last week, I went to my local city hall. I was feeling good. It was my daughter’s 18<sup>th</sup> birthday. I helped her register to vote - civic pride for a dad.</p><p>After that, my mood darkened. Tue, 02 Oct 2012 13:00:48 +0000 Keith Oppenheim 9314 at Want to vote early in Michigan? What's your excuse? Fight over vote counting in the House reaches Michigan Court of Appeals <p>The fight over how the Republican majority in the Michigan House of Representatives counts votes has gone to the state Court of Appeals.</p><p>Democrats sued Republicans to require recorded votes on a procedural motion that determines when a new law will go into effect.</p><p>The motion to make a law effective immediately requires a two-thirds super-majority that Republicans don&rsquo;t have in the House.</p> Wed, 08 Aug 2012 20:39:34 +0000 Rick Pluta 8604 at Commentary: Beyond Voting <p>Today is primary election day, and if you haven&rsquo;t voted yet, I wish you would, even if there is only one race you care about.</p><p>Most of us won&rsquo;t vote. Bill Ballenger, who has been closely watching politics in this state for half a century, predicts that less than one-fifth of Michigan&rsquo;s registered voters are going to vote today.</p><p>Sadly, I don&rsquo;t think he is wrong. That bothers me for a lot of reasons, one of which is that when I was twelve years old, three college students were tortured and murdered in Mississippi for trying to register people to vote.</p> Tue, 07 Aug 2012 12:59:05 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 8568 at Commentary: Beyond Voting Gov. Snyder and the election bills <p>Every Thursday we look at Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate majority leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.</p><p>Republicans in the Legislature got a bit of a surprise this week when Gov. Snyder vetoed three of the 14 new bills related to voting. What would those three vetoed bills have done?</p> Thu, 05 Jul 2012 20:42:08 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 8160 at Gov. Snyder and the election bills